Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Liberals I Am Most Familiar With

I spend my work day with Social Workers and Psychologists, both very liberal groups.
I could just scream some days.
Perhaps they are not fully representative, and I overgeneralise about progressives on the basis of this select group. Yet the liberals I encounter elsewhere and read the writings of seem durn similar. I do know some more reasonable liberals – at church, mainly. Not very liberal, though; only in comparison to nutcases such as I.

A running conversation among a half-dozen people over yesterday and today, which I listened to more than contributed to (yes. really.) still has me spitting. They are convinced that good people who mean well all support Obama’s health care reform. This is as obvious to them as the fact that the sun rises in the East. They don’t actually know much about the details (jaw-dropping stupidity at times), but they know this emphatically by history. Good people who want everyone to be as secure as possible in getting health care are for this. The people who aren’t don’t care about suffering. They can prove it, too. They have actually met mean, selfish people, and they have heard anecdotes about others. Want to hear another example of what a jerk this conservative person I once met was?

They have heard this is going to turn out to be really, really expensive. A few are even worried about this, wondering whether it will divert resources from the economy and hurt jobs. (Duh.) But the general consensus is that there is a lot of money out there that evil cheating people get away with not paying taxes on - and there’s something vulgar about people having too much loose money around anyway. It’s not only better for the rest of us, it’s better for the rich people, too, if we take a lot of their money and put it to better uses. Because it was all made in this society, so it belongs to society. There is plenty of money if we want to do this, it’s just in the wrong places. And they waste resources and pollute, too.

I don’t exaggerate here. I am putting things forcefully, in words they would not fully endorse, but if you take their comments one by one and look at the content, this is it. I am not projecting out the eventual consequences of what they are saying – this is the base content of what they are saying.

It is dramatically circular. The good people want X. Then who is against X? Why, it must be bad people. In fact, I have stories about how bad they are. Okay, anyone can be bad and no one’s perfect, but we’ve told them and told them that this is wrong and they still don’t get it. Maybe they’re stupid instead of bad. So what, ultimately, should good people do about bad stupid people? Oppose them, of course. And we oppose them. Which proves we’re good.

These are all people with graduate degrees. They could know these answers, understand the opposing POV’s, if they wanted to.


terri said... you ever wonder if your co-workersread your blog? ;-)

It couldn't be that hard to Google you because you have used your real name in conversation before.

Maybe you should google your co-workers and see if they have blogs and mention this one conservative guy who never wants to believe them.

That could make for some humorous workplace interaction....maybe a battle of the blogs.


karrde said...

I had an interesting experience on Tuesday.

It was election day, and I did my typical work (paid volunteer) in helping the city run the local elections.

Due to the makeup of the city and the rules for elections, I often end being the only non-registered-Democrat working at a particulr polling location.

We weren't allowed to discuss anything that's on the ballot, but we could discuss certain general things.

Several times, I heard the phrases "concentrations of wealth" and "we should be able to afford to Do Something About That".

The people I worked with seemed to assume without thought that the wealth of Warren Buffett (or Bill Gates) was wealth that would have belonged to Everyone if Buffett (or Gates) hadn't figured out how to con it away from Everyone.

When they discussed poverty in America, I mentioned in passing that America has the fattest poor people in the world. It received a laugh, but no further comment. The discussion moved elsewhere.

I also heard "there is no Middle Class" several times. (Everyone present was a resident of a solidly-Middle-Class suburb. Do they know how to look around and assess the evidence that is visible in the Metro Area?)

I didn't want to spend a lot of time disputing with these people. We were working together to help the city run a city-wide election. But it was a strange combination of disturbing and disheartening.

lelia said...

I keep thinking about the nice dentist who asked my husband (also a nice dentist) why he wanted poor children to starve.

Tear. My. Hair. Out.

CBI said...

In the 2008 elections, I was the only GOP 'pollwatcher' amongst a very nice group of Democrats working and 'watching' at a polling location. I still remember, in the afternoon, one 20-something Democrat somewhat gushing to me that, at least after the election, everybody would be working together and friendly again.

I told that that was unlikely. "No matter how the election turns out, roughly half of the voters will be disappointed."

She looked shocked: she'd never considered such a thing. It looked like the wheels where starting to turn, but I didn't have a chance to discuss things more with her.

Bit by bit, in small ways. Silence is acquiescence, and sometimes -- sometimes -- a little bit can lead people to reflect and think.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

terri - I tell them and invite them over all the time. I even tell them they might want a chance to tell me I'm wrong and keep me from influencing people with such evil ideas. I would welcome it.

They don't read it. They don't read much of anything. They listen to NPR and they listen to other people like them talk. They watch movies.

Gringo said...

They don't read it. They don't read much of anything. They listen to NPR and they listen to other people like them talk. They watch movies.

I have noticed several posters on the "enlightened" side who have recommended movies or a TV show in attempts to change us over from the dark side, but who have not ever balanced that by recommending any written material.

Case in point: the poster who had such a vehement reaction to my posting about Dalton Trumbo from your "Let us take each in turn" article a while back.

I would never base any of my political views on a movie or TV show. So,those "enlightened" people are barking up the wrong tree when they recommend a TV show or a movie to get me to change my mind. Different values, different thought processes.

Anna said...

Something similar happened to me at work too. My workplace has been toying with the idea of switching to HSAs for our health plans and one of my coworkers whined about moving to Canada.

I usually don't argue with liberals because, living in new england, it would never end.

but in this case I did him a favor and relieved him of his logical shortcomings about canadian health care. he was not happy and patronizingly told me that i "didn't understand" because i don't have kids. i was like whatever dude.

you know you have won when they say stupid stuff like that.

Gringo said...

Anna, have you seen this video where Paul Krugman gets p3wned on Canadian Health Care ?

Anna said...

gringo, yes I did see that video, always a classic.